Youngstown State University
3D Printing of Multi-Functional Structures
3D printing has been historically relegated to fabricating conceptual models and prototypes; however, increasingly, research is now focusing on fabricating functional end-use products. As patents for 3D printing expire, new low cost desktop systems are being adopted more widely and this trend is leading to a diversity of new products, processes and available materials. However, currently the techonlogy is generally confined to fabricating single material static structures. For additively manufactured products to be economically meaningful, additional functionalities are required to be incorporated in terms of electronic, electromechanical, electromagnetic, thermodynamic, chemical and optical content. By interrupting the 3D printing and employing complementary manufacturing processes, additional functional content can be included in mass-customized structures. This presentation will review work in multi-process 3D printing for creating structures with consumer-anatomy-specific wearable electronics, electromechanical actuation, electromagnetics, propulsion, embedded sensors in soft tooling and even in metal and ceramic structures.
Eric MacDonald, Ph.D. is a professor of electrical and computer engineering – with a joint appointment in manufacturing program and is the Friedman Chair for Manufacturing at Youngstown State University. Dr. MacDonald received his doctoral (2002) degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He worked in industry for 12 years at IBM and Motorola and subsequently co-founded a start-up specializing in CAD software and the startup was acquired by a firm in Silicon Valley. Dr. MacDonald spent 2003 to 2016 at the University of Texas at El Paso as the associate director of the W. M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation and held faculty fellowships at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, US Navy Research (SPAWAR) and was awarded a US State Department Fulbright Fellowship in South America. His research interests include 3D printed multi-functional applications and closed-loop control in additive manufacturing with instrumentation and computer vision for improved quality and yield. Recent projects include 3D printing of structures such as nano satellites with structurally-embedded electronics (one of which was launched into Low Earth Orbit in 2013 and a replica of which was on display at the London Museum of Science). He has over 50 peer-reviewed publications, dozens of patents (one of which was licensed by Sony and Toshiba from IBM). He is a member of ASEE, senior member of IEEE and a registered Professional Engineer in the USA state of Texas.
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